Dumbledore wasn’t sure what to think, or what he should do other than to just follow the girl. A Short time later he found himself walking out from behind a bookshelf into a small cozy room with a fireplace over which glared the sternest matron he’d ever laid eyes on. Now there was a woman who could put the fear of God in Voldemort himself, Dumbledore mused. The woman glared at him. They’d enchanted the portrait to have her spy on the muggles only to have the painted woman tell them to shove off. It’d been Churchill all over again. In front of the fire were two chairs and a round table. On the table lay a vanilla folder with his name on it. Curiosity getting the better of him he opened it to discover an aerial photograph of Hogwarts.
Well this will never do, Dumbledore thought as he reached for his wand. He casually placed the photo off to one side to see a photo of a rather large acromantula laying dead in a farmers animal pen. Flipping through the folder he found photo after photo of acromantulas in places they simply did not belong. He also discovered that his wand was not where it belonged, and neither was his back up, or that woman anywhere to be found.
“Ah Professor Dumbledore, so good of you to join me.” Offered the voice of John Major as he entered the room. “And let me start by saying how sorry I am about what happened this morning.”
“Where is Cornelius Fudge?” Dumbledore asked tersely.
“He, I’m afraid to say, is presently at Her Majesty's pleasure. Care for a spot of tea? We’ve much to discuss.” He motions to a chair. “Oh and we have the support of the portraits, and quite a few disenfranchised Aurors who have grown quite weary of business as usual.”
“Not to worry, letting any of this get into the press is the last thing any of us want. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to hush up news of such things as giant spider attacks?”
If Dumbledore had been back at Hogwarts, and anywhere near the hospital wing, he’d have heard the sound of angry bat pony noises followed by the sound of a face being rearranged via a hoof to the jaw.
Lt Mouse was alive, and kicking… in addition to punching, she was kicking.
“You stinking ape!” Mouse shouted. “I am going buck you up big time for that!”
The boys weren’t quite sure what was going on, only that a creature halfway between Human and thestral seemed to want them dead for some reason. Lt Mouse had gone anthro, and damn sexy too. The boys were very confused. Aroused and confused.
“Hey, quit enjoying your beat down! Gah!” Mouse shouted as she clotheslined one of the boys with a wing, and smashed a hoof into the gut of another. As to why she wasn’t dead, well there was any number of factors that could have played a role. There was the pendant she wore that was a base unite not unlike the one used to make nova’s pendant. It provided access to restricted areas and provided a level of protection against a magical attack. There was the fact that Lt Mouse was part of a small group who’d been banished for a thousand years along with Nightmare Moon simply for being too close to their mistress during those last moments of the fight between the two sisters. There was also the issue that Lt Mouse’s entire body was covered in the very stuff that made the Elder Wand such a prize. Bat pony/thestral hair did have a fairly good charge on it. There was one other factor we’ll get to in a bit. Lastly, there was the fact that Marcus Flint was practically a squib with his one decent talent being the ability to fly a broom. The boy was the sort that muggles referred to as a rock. Meaning he had all the intelligence, and natural charisma of a rock. He was the Slytherin Quidditch team captain only by virtue of bullying his way into the position.
No, the spell had not killed her, but it had kicked worse than her husband while sparring, and then she wore padding. And never would they do any of the sort while she was carrying an egg, which she presently was. Lt Alice Mouse was enraged and in excruciating pain. Did I mention enraged? Magic be damned, Alice Mouse was going to give these boys the beat down of their lives, and the only thing that saved them was more shadowbolts rushing in to restrain her.
Flint and the others lay on the floor either unconscious or in extreme pain. Never in their lives had anyone laid hand to them. Punishments, in general, had always been a stern talking to and extra chores. Chores would routinely be ignored because they knew they’d get away with it.
“Alice… how are you still alive?” Madam Pomfrey asked with a shaky voice.
“Alive?” Captain Hoofstrong asked.
“Flint used the killing curse on her,” Pomfrey informed them.
The captain switched holding her back, to embrace her.
“Poppy… is my baby alright?” Mouse asked as tears began to flow from her eyes.
The Slytherins would wake the next morning to the news that they'd lost all their house points, the decision having come late in the evening.
Back at the Gryffindor party, Rhona is still chewing out her brothers. “You’ve got less than two days to make up one hundred points!” Rhona exclaimed. “Two days!”
Nova on the other hoof was up on a table dancing with a rather large mug in hand. As a matter of fact, pretty much everyone had a mug in hand by this point, and the cheer within the room was growing. Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle had knives and forks in hand which they were thumping on the table, and striking the flagons to create a beat for Nova to dance to.
“Hey, hey, stop that, you’ll blunt the knives.” Percy scolded.
“Oh lay off, Percy… perfect Prefect Percy.” Idda chided. Idda had a mug as well. Idda was swaying, but not necessarily to the music.
*”Blunt the knives, bend the forks, smash the bottles, and burn the corks.” The crusaders chanted.
“What, no, stop that.” Percy implored. Idda, your flushed, are you alright?”
*“Chip the glasses, and crack the plates, that’s what Prefect Percy hates.” The Crusaders continued. “Cut the cloth, tread on the fat, leave the bones on the bedroom mat. Pour the milk on the pantry floor, splash the wine on every door. That’s what Prefect Percy hates!”
*“Heave ho to the bottle I go, to heal my heart, and drown my woes.” Nova sang out and then laughed. She takes a pull on the mug and then starts in again. “Rain may fall, and wind may blow, but there still be many miles to go.”
“There’s a mug of cider inside of me!” Apple Bloom shouted out.
“Aww, you messed up the song.” Sweetie Belle protested.
“Another song!” Nelly shouts. She too is nursing a large mug, and Hermione is on the sofa, getting frisky with Harry who seems quite concerned about the situation.
“All right then, another song,” Nova announces, staggers, and extends her wings to the shock of many. Well at least to the boys who’d no clue she could transform. *“I bang on your door, but you won't let me in, because your sick and tired of me reeking of gin. Locked all the doors, from the front to the back, and left me a note telling me I should pack. I walk in a bar and the ponies all cheer, ‘en order me up a whiskey and beer. You ask me why I’m singing this song? Some call it a tavern, I call it Gryffindor Common.”
“What?! - Get down from there!” Percy ordered at his wit's end.
*“Sod off I’m drunk, sod off I’m drunk. Pour my bear down the sink, I’ve more in me trunk.” Nova and the crusaders sang, and then started laughing along with quite a number of other Gryffindors.
“My god, you’re all drunk as lords.” Percy pronounced. “All right, stop drinking. Everyone. Stop! Where’d the alcohol come from? Who’s responsible. Do you people seriously want to come in dead last?! - Points from everyone!”
“Fred! - George! - Are you responsible for this!” Rhona demanded to know from the two twins.
“It’s just a little fun.” Fred offered.
“What harm can it do?” George asked sheepishly.
“You’re as bad as mom,” Fred protested.
“Oh, and just wait till Mother finds out about this!” Rhona shouted at about the same time Sweetie Belle dropped to all fours, turned back into a pony, and relieved herself of the contents of her stomach.
“Why is there a ghoul in here?!” Percy asked in exaggerated exasperation. The answer, he’s playing bass.
On the following morning Nova and the crusaders, in addition to waking up with hangovers, received the shocking news that Lt Mouse had lost her foal in a miscarriage induced by an attack on her life.
They, that is Nova, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo found Mouse resting in the infirmary with Captain Hoofstrong sitting in a chair, and Coco in one of the other beds across from the unicorn mare they were presently calling Moonflower. Captain Hoofstrong was asleep, Coco was still a bat pony, and Alice was still half and half.”
“Hi, Princess.” Lt Mouse said in a soft voice.
“I heard.” Nova offered as she entered the room.
“It’s my fault,” Alice said softly. Her tone was that of one who feels defeated.
“Don’t say that.” Scootaloo protested as she, and Apple Bloom followed Nova. Sweetie Belle was presently indisposed owing to a sudden urgent matter.
“But it is.” Alice protested. “I deliberately provoked the boys who were after Coco. I thought I could handle anything they threw at me. - I never dreamed that one of them would try to use a killing curse on me.”
“A what?!” Nova exclaimed.
“If I was human I’d be dead now,” Alice informed them. “Felt like getting bucked full force without padding.” The fillies waited while she collected her thoughts. “When I’d picked myself, up that Flint boy, he was the one who did it, was threatening Poppy. I ignored my own pain… OK, I flew into a rage, and beat the ever love’n stuffings out of them.”
“Good for you.” Apple bloom offered. “You have no idea how badly I’ve wanted to put a hoof in a Slytherin’s face.”
“You three don’t look well yourselves,” Alice observed.
“Hungover,” Nova replied, causing a slight upward movement on the corners of Alice’s mouth. “Something in last night’s punch.”
"So is this your first hangover?" Alice asked.
"Maybe." the fillies offered with a guilty grin.
A knock came on the outer door, and then it slowly opened to reveal Professor Dumbledore. “Um, good morning.” He offered. “May I come in?”
“Yes, please, do come in.” Nova offered. “She was among those who faced Riddle, and she nearly gets killed by Flint.”
Something I should probably mention is that Nova, Scootaloo, Captain Hoofstrong, and Apple Bloom are ponies right now.
“Marcus Flint is in Custody now. He and the others were sent to Saint Mungo’s. Seems Madam Pomfrey refused to provide anything other than basic first aid.” Dumbledore offered as he pushed the door open. He froze momentarily at the sight before him.
“They were going to kill her too.” Alice offered.
“You are?” Dumbledore asked as his mind raced.
“She’s animagus.” Nova offered. “Thestral.”
“This is what that spell did to me.” Alice offered. “Killed my baby, and left me stuck like this.”
“You are lucky to be alive.” Dumbledore offered.
“Am I?” Alice asked.
Nova went to her and gave her a hug. “Alice, in my travels I’ve had to leave behind a lot of good friends, and seen those I was very close to killed right in front of me. I know this isn’t going to be easy for you. I mean, the Bolts are nearly all we’ve got. Don’t ever leave me behind. Alright?” Alice didn’t say anything, and just let a hug do the talking for her. “Anyway, you should be able to switch back once you’ve healed up. - Want me to tell you about the time you rescued me from a recruitment flight?” Nova asked.
“I saved you?” Alice asked.
“One of your counterparts actually.” Nova offered.
I should probably mention that the girls are too hungover to realize they are presently in their true forms.
“Counterparts?” Dumbledore asked as he slowly entered the room, took a chair, and set down. At the sound of the chair scraping the floor, Captain Hoofstrong woke up along with Moonflower who began to eyeball Dumbledore. Captain Hoofstrong looked about, and gave a weary smile.
“Well the thing is, I didn’t just come through a portal from the past, I’ve been using such portals to jump dimensions ever since I got ejected from my own, presumably by the very creature responsible for what happened in the first year potions class, along with several other incidents I’m aware of. It is fortunate that the form of magic you teach here is so similar to the type he uses or there is no telling how far he’d have gone. Our own world is an abnormally large displaced space set aside from the physical world you know. - Anyway, getting back to the time Lt Mouse rescued me, I was actually drafted into the Night Watch in one world where I served with honors and despite only being a message runner I was allowed to count myself among the elite fliers and trained as a medic when it was found that I could be useful as more than just a message runner. The time Lt Mouse saved me from being drafted yet again I’d fallen asleep on a train, and found myself being deboarded with the recruits. It took a bit to convince anyone I wasn’t one of their recruits.”
“Extraordinary… but who are you really?” Dumbledore inquired.
“Ahh…?” Nova looked at him, then herself and the others.
“She’s Princess Nova.” Scootaloo offered, followed by transforming. She was still wearing what she’d put on prior to the party.
“Oh, horse apples.” Nova offered as she too transformed herself.
“It seems I’ve done you a disservice by forcing you into the first year class. You and Miss Magnus.” Dumbledore offered. “I also got quite the wake-up call yesterday. After the muggle flying machines went over the Quidditch pitch, I went straight to the Ministry of Magic, and demanded Cornelius Fudge, who is, or rather was the Minister of Magic, go have some sharp words with their Prime minister. To put it lightly. Sometime later I found myself being called on the carpet by that same Prime Minister who reminded me that he is also our Prime Minister as well, and if he is not then we have a serious problem. He then told me that we had best start learning how to communicate.”
“Was, you said?” Captain Hoofstrong asked.
“Yes, it seems they had the audacity to arrest him, and seems they know more than enough to press charges of corruption in either court.” Dumbledore offered. “And yet the secrecy act is being upheld in a rather odd fashion in that the leaders of the Muggle government don’t want the general population to know about the wizard community any more then we do. And there will be changes so that they can advise our authorities if they think there is something we need to look into rather then letting things stew until it boils over. In return, they will provide whatever material, logistics, and legal support within their capacity to do so where it pertains to our interaction with the more mundane world. Which I'm to understand is nowhere near as mundane as we'd led ourselves to believe.”
“So it’s a win-win then.” Nova offered with a strained smile. “You know, back in nineteen oh three, there were unofficial teams of muggle law enforcement and Aurors that would investigate things together. I gather that was in case the cause of an incident turned out to be, something muggles can’t handle.”
“Ah, perhaps we could revisit that idea.” Dumbledore mused. "Granted the muggles involved would need to know about magic." He looked about him with a puzzled look.
“Something puzzling you?” Nova asked as she went over to a medical cabinet.
“I can’t as recall ever seeing this room?” He offered as Nova opened the cabinet, and began rummaging about. “Should you be just helping yourself like that?”
“It’s her cabinet.” Apple Bloom offered. Up to this point, Dumbledore had thought she was a brightly colored Shetland pony.
“You’ve never seen it because I never allowed it till now.” Nova offered as she began to prep a potion. “You left Hogwarts when you crossed that threshold. Granted that this place is still technically on school grounds. No, it’s not a vanishing cabinet. Not the sort you are familiar with. What this place is, is displaced space. There are strict limits to how far from the primary point of contact I can connect to. I only opened the door to the hospital wing as needed in our efforts to coral Riddle. - And just so we are clear on this, this is the Eques Embassy. With all rights and privileges. I’m sure you’ll find the Ministry of Magic has records of it somewhere.”
“I see,” Dumbledore replied as he watched Apple Bloom with a curious look on his face. “What’s that you are making?”
“Hangover cure,” Nova offered.
“Ah yes, I heard about Gryffindor’s race to beat the Slytherins to the bottom,” Dumbledore replied with a smile. “Don’t worry, you can’t get any lower then Slytherin right now. The boys involved in last nights incident have had the maximum amount of points taken. For what little good that will do.”
“That Flint boy. He’s dangerous. If it was up to me he’d have his magic nullified, and sent to one of them muggle institutions for the mentally insane.” Alice suggested.
“Not Tartarus?” Scootaloo asked.
“Buck no, the creatures in Tartarus have it bad enough as is,” Alice replied with just a hint of a smile.
“He’ll likely spend the rest of his life in Azkaban,” Dumbledore informed them. “Tartarus sounds rather severe.”
“Severe? From what I’ve heard tell of Azkaban, Tartarus is a cake walk. It might be a miserable hot place, but at least there are no dementors.” Nova offered as she filled small glasses with the potion she’d made.
“No, I suppose not.” Dumbledore mused.
“Has Princess Celestial ever let any creature out.” Apple Bloom asked.
“Far as I know, just the dog to let him get some air.” Nova offered as she gave Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo a glass. “It’s a general restorative. Alice, might do you some good if you’d like?”
“Let creatures out?” Dumbledore asked as the words registered.
“Oh ya, Princess Celestia has the key,” Scootaloo informed him.
Dumbledore's eyebrows went up, and his eyes widened. “She has the key? - To hell?”
“Hell? No, she has a key to Tartarus.” Nova corrected. “I doubt Hell even exists. - Or if it does, it’s in another dimension that I’m unaware of.”
“I’m confused, doesn’t someone have to die to go to, well Tartarus?” Dumbledore asked. The girls all looked at him like he’d suddenly grown a frog head in his scalp.
“If’n they was dead we wouldn't need ta lock em up in Tartarus.” Apple Bloom informed him.
“You mean it’s an actual place?” Dumbledore asked with astonishment.
“Um ya. We’ve even been there.” Scootaloo offered. “Just to visit that is.”
“I haven’t.” Nova offered as she handed a glass of the potion to Alice. “Professor Dumbledore, Eques is a remnant of the ancient empire of Arcadia. Try to think in terms of the ultimate high-security prison for immortal beings, and anything too dangerous to be allowed to roam free. - Although in extreme cases where a being is deemed too dangerous even for Tartarus they get banished to their own private pocket dimension from which there is no escape.”
“And that’s what was done to Voldemort I gather.”
“Exactly what we did.” Nova offered and drank down her potion. She paused a moment to fight the urge to cough as the potion burned its way down.
“We?” Dumbledore inquired.
“Princess Nova was the primary architect.” Alice offered. She drank down her potion and then coughed. “Princes, what do you call this potion?” Scootaloo and Apple Bloom drank theirs down, followed by letting out a gasp complete with a puff of smoke coming out of their mouths.
“Hair of the dog if I’m not mistaken.” Dumbledore offered with a smile.
“Hair of the dog,” Nova confirmed. “Don’t tell Snape, she’ll deduct points from Gryffindor just for my knowing that one.”
“And you were involved with the fight out in the forest?” Dumbledore pressed.
“The spell requires individuals with specific qualities to them.” Nova offered. “The spell combines the magic of the individuals and harmonizes that magic to create something greater than the sum parts. I am such an individual. I also know a great deal about opening up, and closing pocket dimensions. Scootaloo was valuable because of her animagus form. - We had quite a few of our people involved. First to track him any time he left the school, and secondly, so we’d be able to corral him. - I swear he could go through trees faster then I can. - If not for one lucky shot, he might have gotten away.”
“And that would have been a very bad thing.” Dumbledore mused. “Of course you do understand that the two of you were breaking a whole lot of rules.”
“Can’t say it’s going to make much of a difference house points wise at this point.” Nova offered. “If I thought we still had a chance of winning the house cup I wouldn't have been so forthcoming.”
“Indeed, indeed. Granted that you really shouldn't be keeping things from your teachers.” Dumbledore offered. “And then, on the other hand, I could give you points as well. You and the others did us all a favor for which we could never repay.”
“And how will you award those points without tipping off his followers as to what really happened?” Nova asked.
“Ya, I’d just assume no one knew I had any part in that,” Scootaloo added.
“Me either.” Malfoy seconded, having woken, and was presently listening in.
“It talks?” Dumbledore asked. “Are you aware there is a baby thestral in the other bed that can talk? - And you’ve a unicorn in here, or is that another Gryffindor.”
“The thestral is Malfoy, and the unicorn was rescued from the forest.” Apple bloom informed him. “She’s one of the unicorns Voldemort went after. The only known survivor.”
“Malfoy transformed right in front of you when the jets went over.” Scootaloo offered.
“Well, there was a lot going on.” Nova reminded the others.
“Nova, dear, have we got something for Sweetie Belle? She’s not doing too good.” Alalme asked, sticking her head in the room. Dumbledore’s eyes widened once more at the vision of an English pegasus talking and behaving like a concerned parent. She was definitely a pegasus… wasn’t she?
“I just made up a small batch of hair of the dog potion.” Nova offered.
“I’ll bring her a glass.” Apple Bloom offered. “Come to think of it, Hermione could probably use some too.”
“Just take the whole thing then, and come back if you need more.” Nova offered.
“Based on what I remember of last night, you might want to make another batch,” Scootaloo suggested.
“I guess I’d better get busy then.” Nova offered just as Rose Myrtle came into the room.
“Dumbiedoor!” Myrtle sang out and then trotted on over. She went straight to Scootaloo and rubbed up against her. “Hi, Profwessor.”
To say that Dumbledore’s mind was going a mile a minute would be an understatement. He started to get up, Moonflower shifted as to spring, and growled. Scootaloo transformed back into a pony and went over to her to reassure her it was alright.
“Rose, perhaps you best leave the room, I don’t think Moonflower wants Professor Dumbledore anywhere near you,” Scootaloo said softly.
“Why don’t you go check on Hermione?” Nova suggested. Myrtle brightened, nodded her head, and trotted out of the room. Moonflower relaxed as soon as she was gone.
“Moonflower accepts us because we are ponies.” Nova offered as she finished up another batch of the Hair of the Dog potion. “She’s also not the brightest candle in the chandelier.”
“I’d wondered what your secret was.” Dumbledore offered as he sat back down. “But correct me if I’m wrong, I thought your animagus form was a fox?”
“I have two forms. One of which just happens to be a fox. A Celestial fox.”
“Ah, yes, that must be what caused the blood curse.” Dumbledore proclaimed. The idea that Nova might not be human at all was something Dumbledore could not allow himself to consider.
“Listen, I need to take this potion back to the dorm room, and see who all needs it.” Nova began. “Probably best if you don’t linger. I don’t think Moonflower likes you, and Lt Mouse needs her rest.”
“Yes, I’ll just show myself out then,” Dumbledore replied. He slowly got up, keeping a wary eye on the unicorn from the forest, and made his way out the door. Once outside, he turned back to discover the door had all but vanished. Sure it was still there, but he was being sent a very clear message. He wasn’t wanted snooping about. Granted the presence of the Unicorn was problematic as well and raised a number of questions in his mind to include the pastel Shetland. Judging by the mark on the flank she was probably Apple Bloom. Now Dumbledore knew a vanishing cabinet when he saw one, but then the idea that one could be made with such a large interior… no, Miss Moon had said that it wasn’t a vanishing cabinet. A displaced space. Wizard space was another way to describe it. A typical space usually consisted of a room in a trunk, or a wall, and there were legends about abnormally large spaces. From what he could discern, this one was large enough that it wasn’t limited to only one entrance. He also wondered if he should be concerned. After all, she could, and by the sounds of it had already brought in a number of witches and wizards. Granted that the unicorn was testament enough that they were indeed on the side of the light as it was a rare individual who could even approach such an animal. Add to that, both Nova, and Louise had as their animagus forms pegacorn. Nova even had a second form, that of a celestial fox. Both being unheard of. In all the records of wizard’s use of the animagus spell, none had ever taken on the form of a magical creature. Taking on the form of two magical creatures boggled the mind. Dumbledore had a mind to see if there was anything about Celestial foxes in the library.
Meanwhile back in Equestria, Fluttershy is presently having tea with Discord's head. Just his head. The rest of him is presently being used as a garden ornament. “Um, Fluttershy, deer🦌… how am I to drink my tea?” Discord asked.
“Oh I don’t know, you always think of something.” Fluttershy offered.
“Are you perchance just a bit miffed at me?”
“Miffed? Why no, of course not.” Fluttershy offered demurely. “I’m downright peeved. Irritated even.”
“Oh, deer🦌. - Was it something I said?”
“Something you said? - Discord, I am very disappointed in your performance.”
“I don’t know, you seemed to enjoy it.” Discord teased with a wink.
“I’m talking about your behavior at Hogwarts.” Fluttershy scolded. “You are making me very irritated, care to try for a bit cross?”
“I was just trying to liven things up.” Discord offered apologetically. Fluttershy hadn’t been ‘a bit cross’ since the time twilight got turned into stone by a cockatrice.
“What did you put in the potion?”
“And why does it matter?”
“The boy who thinks he was responsible, I’m to understand, tried to take a walk off the top of a building. Humans are rather melodramatic in how they respond to stress, and I’m told that walking off buildings tends to be fatal for humans. Another boy who was dogging one of the other victims tried to kill one of our own, and she lost her foal because of it.”
“Where did she see her foal last?”
“DISCORD!” “The foal is dead. - Humans do not take well to your brand of humor, and they are prone to fits of violence if anything upsets them. Your antics caused harm to several children, and the fall out has lead to ruined lives, and the death of an unborn foal.” Fluttershy scolded quite harshly. “Consequences! Actions have consequences. Nor does one good thing negate all the bad things. Fluttershy's present mood was actually frightening Discord. “When are you going to stop and think about the potential harm? Look at me! Look at this horn you stuck on my head!”
“Well I didn’t know you’d become a real alicorn, and I’d be unable to undo it?” Discord pleaded. “And how is violent behavior out of a species that is naturally prone to violence my fault? I swear, turn a few boys into girls and they start acting like their furrier ancestors.”
“What did you put in the potion?”
“It was just a little poison joke. - Interesting that it affected all the boys the same way.”
“Well, the girls who were exposed to it all had different reactions.” Discord offered. “Funny thing is, not a one of them seemed to have noticed. - I just don’t understand their reactions? Especially about the gender reversal. Ponies use gender swapping potions all the time?”
Oh, it just gets better and better, Fluttershy thought to herself as she wound up the Canterlot voice. “In the privacy of their own home and the potion wears off after four hours!” Discords facial features had all pulled back as though he was in a wind tunnel. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to let Twilight know that they need a potion to counteract the effects of poison joke.”
Later that afternoon, at Dumbledore’s office the man himself is sitting back quietly contemplating life while smoking some fine Longbottom pipe weed. He’d much to think about. Especially after making inquiries of the ministry. Miss Nova was a confirmed Princess of Eques, and her luggage really was listed as an embassy. Size unknown. Dumbledore pondered if the whole thing moved around, or just the point of entry? All the records would say regarding her luggage is that it was huuuuuuuge. The records also mentioned that she was in exile owing to her mother, one Princess Luna, having attempted regicide. Luna? And she seemed like such a sensible person… Luna? Luna Moon was a crown princess?
A knock at his door startled him out of his contemplation. “Yes?”
“Professor Dumbledore, might I enter?” called the voice of Princess Luna.
“Yes, yes of course,” Dumbledore called cheerfully enough, though he wasn’t exactly in the best of moods. Never the less the mask of geniality was one he had plenty of experience with. “And once again, I am so sorry about what happened.”
“It’s been difficult for her. She’d lost her entire family do to circumstances beyond her control and was so looking forward to starting a new family.” Luna offered from the doorway as she opened it. She did not elaborate. “Professor, I had something I wished to bring to your attention prior to tomorrow night’s end of year banquet.”
“Yes, of course, do come in your highness.” Dumbledore offered as he stood up, and made a polite bow. Luna stopped for a moment, gave him a funny look, let out a sigh, and returned the bow.
“Pleas, Luna will do. After all, am I not one of your employees while I am teaching your students?”
“Yes, of course. No need to stand on formalities.” He offered, waited for her to sit down before retaking his seat.
“Well if we were to stand on formalities it’s Her Royal Highness, Princess Luna of Arcadia, Second Crown Princess of Equestria, Shepherd of the moon, and Steward of the night.” Luna offered with a smile. “Though most of our subjects just know me as the night princess or just Princess Luna.”
“Ma’am,” Dumbledore said meekly. “You um, aren’t still in exile if I may be so bold as to ask?”
“Oh no. We are very much back in the good graces of our sister who is the First Crown Princess of Arcadia as well as Equestria. That is Eques. - We had a knock down drag out fight. If you were wondering. I imagine if we’d been, say, for example, Weasleys, I’d have been sent to my room without supper.”
“I see… Arcadia?”
“Arcadia doesn’t exist anymore, save for a few relics such as the pensive you have, and a few antiquated titles.”
“Ahh, I’d thought it might be of Arcadian origin,” Dumbledore replied with delight.
“It’s intended use is to analyze dreams.” Luna offered. “I understand you use it to look at old memories.”
“Dreams you say?”
“Yes. Quite a lot can be learned from dreams.” Luna offered. “We live in a multiverse, and our dreams can at times cross those boundaries to catch snippets of events remembered, or being experienced by our counterparts. Add to that the fickle nature of quantum mechanics, and you get to see little snatches of the future.”
“Certain types of dreams can be thought of as prophecies. Though I’d be cautious as to letting anyone learn such information who does not have a need to know. Each bit of information is only a maybe, it’s never written in stone. - Take the prophecy about Voldemort’s presumed demise. It’s very likely that had he not learned of it, he would not have targeted the Longbottoms or the Potters.”
“I’m afraid I am to blame for that.” Dumbledore offered apologetically. “I wanted a Divination teacher with a true calling. - To be true, her knowledge of divination is sub-par, but she does have the gift. - I made the mistake of interviewing her in a crowded bar.” He stopped speaking, and Luna chose to simply wait.
“And then you showed up and shattered the prophesies,” Dumbledore announced breaking the silence a few moments later. “How do you do it?”
“By doing what has to be done when it needs to be done. By being honest and sincere, by being kind and compassionate, by giving others a reason to hope with laughter and integrity, by generosity and honor, by loyalty, duty, and bravery, by respect and wisdom, and most important courage, and empathy. Of these are the elements of harmony.” Luna offered. “Well, that and I’m an immortal goddess.”
“And is Princess Nova an immortal goddess?”
“Don’t really know yet. Check back with me in about a thousand years.”
“A thousand years?” Dumbledore was beginning to think she was pulling his leg at this point.
“She’s part divine kitsune, Celestial fox if you like. The projected life span is about a thousand years. A few individuals, if their magic is strong enough, will live with their days unnumbered. - Even if she doesn’t have that kind of a life span ahead of her, being mixed, she still has the potential to live longer then most wizards.”
“You are wondering how old I am?”
“It would be imprudent to ask.”
“I can’t really give you an exact amount.” Luna offered.
“I’ve noticed that Nova has that issue.”
“Her issue stems from jumping across dimensions. Keeping track of one’s age under such circumstances can be difficult. What I can tell you is that I am well over a thousand years old.” *“We were born to be Princesses of the universe. And now here we are, fighting to survive in a world filled with darkest power. I am immortal, and I have inside me the blood of Athelas of old who was the great great grand son of Areion born of the wind who’s sire was Poseidon lord of the waters.”
Dumbledore, knowing what Professor Sprout had told him found he dared not dismiss this woman’s claims entirely. Indeed the power to shatter the prophesies truly did speak of divine power. But then again, how many opportunities had he had in which he could have changed the course of history. He lived in Godric's hollow, he was there the night of the attack and had been aware that it was happening. He like so many others failed to provide aid in favor of his long plan. Had Voldemort been successful that night, his long plan would have been unattainable, and he knew that now. How much more suffering might have been avoided if he’d have gone straight away to talk some sense into Grindelwald?
“But that’s not why I’m here.” Luna offered with a smile derailing Dumbledore's train of thought. “I have here a list of every student who braved the challenge on the third floor.”
“Challenge?” Dumbledore echoed in dismay.
“Well, it’s not like it was that difficult.” Luna mused. “Boggles the mind why Riddle couldn't seem to master it.”
“Undoubtedly waiting for an opportunity to snatch the stone, and kill Potter on the way out,” Dumbledore grumbled.
“Anyway, of those who gave it a shot, unlocking the door to the third-floor corridor was too easy, there were quite a number of first years who had a look. Afraid I’ve only an estimate on how many students had a look see.”
Dumbledore cringed at the news.
“Now getting past Fluffy was simple enough once word got out that all they had to do was put him to sleep with music.”
Dumbledore cringed again.
“No lock on the trap door and most of the students thought to bring a school broom with them, or some means to lower themselves safely. The broom made it possible to drop down without getting ensnared by the devil’s snare. Even if they did get tangled in the Devils Snare, a simple fire spell was enough to free themselves.”
Dumbledore cringed yet again.
“Now the room of keys did weed out the week fliers.”
“Well, that’s good to hear.”
“Oh, and some of the students who brought brooms discovered that they could fly over the chess board without triggering the enchantment.”
“Well, we’ll just have to fix that, won’t we,” Dumbledore muttered.
“Oh yes, creating a new challenge for next year could be lots of fun for the students.” Luna offered enthusiastically. “Now what I wanted was to award house points to everyone who made an attempt, points depending on how far they made it, or how many times they tried.”
“How many times they tried?”
“Perseverance has got to count for something.”
“I seem to remember telling the students not to go to the third-floor corridor.”
“I am to understand that you declared the third-floor corridor out of bounds to anyone who does not wish to die a painful death.” Luna offered. “The general consensus seems to be that you did not expressly forbid anyone from tempting the third-floor corridor.”
“I suppose that’s true enough,” Dumbledore replied in a rather drawn out fashion.
“Anyway, the first to get all the way to the mirror, and figure out what it did without getting trapped was the Weasley twins.”
“I put the Philosophers stone in that thing.” Dumbledore protested wondering why he’d never been alerted?
“Yes, we figured as much, but being none of the students knew it was there, none of them would have known to try to retrieve it.”
“Ah yes, I suppose there is that. - How do you know all this though?”
“We were keeping tabs on Quirrel, and that meant we’d need to keep a watch on your trap. - Equestrian magic is based on three primary forms of magic, unicorn, pegasi, and what we call earth ponies. Think of an earth pony as a unicorn without a horn. They have magic but must deploy it through their hooves. I’m afraid your wards did little to stop us from doing anything we wanted. Ergo, when we realized students would be risking life and limb we employed a number of spells to make the challenges a little less lethal for the students. It was still plenty dangerous for Mr Riddle.”
Dumbledore was floored. “Fine, just give out all the points you want as you seem to do whatever you want anyway,” Dumbledore said in a pout.
“Are you sure? - You aren’t still upset that we left you out of the loop are you?”
“What if I wanted to secure something here in Hogwarts again?”
“Then I’d suggest not placing it where it’s accessible to students, using a hidden door that can not be unlocked by a first year, trap doors that are hidden as well as locked, and traps that are a little better thought out. Even Snape’s was easily defeated by a fire walking spell or potion. - And there were students who thought of that possibility. - Why exactly did you use traps that could be defeated so easily? Bad enough Snape gave the intended intruder the means to get through his fire spell. And for that matter… no sorry, under the circumstances I can hardly blame you for advertising the fact you had something being safeguarded. Still though, given your quarry was among the staff you needn't have said anything to the students other than to expressly forbid them from the third-floor corridor.” Dumbledore wasn’t about to admit he’d had no idea who Voldemort was working through. “Also, I think Harry would be better off somewhere else. That family he’s with is horrible.”
“And who should take him in?” Dumbledore snapped. “You perhaps?”
“Yes. He’d be safe. And he could learn magic at my sister’s school. - Even with Riddle gone, Harry is still in danger from Riddle’s followers, and we’ve yet to find any sign of the Horcrux Mr Riddle presumably made.”
“And Harry’s money has nothing to do with it?”
“Money?” Luna asked in dismay. “My Nova owns the lions share of the outstanding interests in the Hogwarts express. And is presently within the top ten of the wealthiest account holders at Gringotts. My own discretionary account is in the top ten as well. - Harry’s money? Please be reasonable.”
“It’ll take some doing, so he’ll have to remain with his relatives for now.”
“Well, what do I need to do?”
“What you’ll have to do is go to the ministry and request custody of young Mr Potter.”
“I’ll do that. Thank you.”
When Luna left, a sly sort of smile formed on Dumbledore's face. He had no intention of letting the status quo regarding Harry be changed. He still had control over the boy’s destiny, and he intended to keep it that way.
“Have a care.” Spoke the portrait of Scrimgeour Senior, former Head Master. “These are beings of light, and will not suffer your scheming easily.”
“Quite right.” Phineus Black affirmed.
Princess Luna waited till she was well clear of the headmaster’s office before she let any of her emotions go. “Damn that old windbag!” Luna knew full well Dumbledore was just putting her off. It was Dumbledore who had magical guardianship of Harry Potter, Dumbledore who’d railroaded Sirius Black, and Dumbledore who was behind the gridlock regarding the muggle authorities. After all, she’d more than enough spies in high places to know who was pulling all the strings. Perhaps it was time for some friends in low places.
Down in the open grass of Nova’s greenhouse, Nova is presently helping Coco figure out her transformation back into a human while Moonflower is having a walk about the park to get some exercise. Moonflower still has quite a few gauze pads on her being her injuries have been slow to heal, and a nurse unicorn from Equestria is presently accompanying her.
“What if I can’t do it? I wasn’t ready when I transformed.” Coco pleaded.
“You can do this.” Nova offered. “Just rear up on your hind legs, and picture your human self.”
“You didn’t say old self.”
“Your old self was a boy. You can’t turn into something you’re not. - Come on up you go, I’ll catch you with my magic if you lose your balance.”
“But what if I can’t do it? - What if I’m stuck like this?”
“Well then Mom will adopt you, and you can come live in Equestria.” Nova offered, hoping to reassure her.
“I did it!” Squeaked out the vice of a little girl. Nova and Coco turned to see a toddler surrounded by foals.
“Myrtle?” Nova said. Process of elimination suggested the little girl of anywhere from two to four years old had to be Myrtle. She was wearing not but her diaper, but then ponies generally didn’t wear a lot of clothing.
“How old is she?” Coco asked.
“A little over fifteen weeks from hatching if I’m not mistaken.” Nova offered. “Ponies mature physically faster then humans.”
“Fifteen weeks!?” Malfoy exclaimed, stood up, and transformed back to her human self. She stood there with a big smile.
“Not going to be shown up by a little filly are you?” Nova teased.
“Darn strait I’m not.” Coco pronounced.
“Mommy Noeha, look at me, I’m human again!” Myrtle exclaimed triumphantly.
“So you are… by any chance can you switch back again?” Nova asked as Alalme slowly approached with a worried look on her face. Moonflower was watching from a distance with a curious look on her face. Rose Myrtle thought about it for a moment, dropped down, transformed, and then danced in place with a triumphant smile. Coco not to be out done transformed back and forth a couple times, and was back to being human just as Twilight showed up announcing she had a cure. She was in her pony form so as to not stress out Moonflower.
“A cure?” Coco asked. “You make it sound like I’m sick.”
“Sorry. Make that a counter-potion. Assuming you want to take it that is.” Twilight offered.
“Do you?” Nova asked.
“I...” Coco started. “I’m not sure. - I’m afraid that if I do I’ll go back to being my old rotten self. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with being a girl… is there?” She looked at them with a pleading look on her face. “Despite what some may think, I find I am still myself. Just not as obnoxious as I was.”
“I’m perfectly happy being a girl, and your present self could simply be the result of being separated from people who you wished to impress.” Nova offered. “As for who you are in your heart, and how you behave, that is a matter of the heart and has little to do with what you look like on the outside. It is better to impress people by being a good person than by being a rotten person.”
“Gah!” Coco exclaimed as she turned and paced back and forth a few times. “My father… what would he say? I mean if I decided to stay this way.” Stop, turn, walk back the other direction. “And for that matter, why am I even thinking this way? People were being horrid to me. - Going back to being a boy would be so much easier, would it not?”
“I’m sure your father would except you with open arms regardless of what you decide.” Twilight offered hopefully.
“Ya, doubt it.” Nova offered. “Not from how the girls described him.”
“My father is very conservative,” Coco said slowly. “He didn’t even bother to come check up on me. I’m to understand all he did was send an owl with the message that I’d best be back to being a boy before I come home. He might as well be saying don’t bother to come home if your not a boy. My mother might be alright, but the rest of the family...” Coco shuddered. “Thy supported Voldemort. - Some of them are locked up in Azkaban, and for good reason.”
“As soon as he knows there is a counter-potion he’s as apt to force you to take it, isn’t he?” Nova asked with concern.
“He would.” Coco offered. There was a moment of awkward silence. Coco let out a sigh. “I guess I might as well get it over with.”
“I sure wish you didn’t sound like I’m about to lead you into Tartarus,” Twilight said sounding distressed. “Is there nothing we can do?”
“I don’t think so,” Nova replied.
“Marry her.” Myrtle offered. The other’s looked at Myrtle with confused expressions.
“Ah… you could adopt me into your family as part of a prearranged marriage agreement.” Coco offered. She'd turned sharp to look straight as Nova. “It wouldn't have to be an official marriage until I’m seventeen. - This is assuming my parents would agree to let me live with your family. - Normally it’s the other way around.”
“Alalme?” Nova asked looking at her herd sister not sure if she was looking for a good reason to say no.
“Scootaloo is practically part of our herd, we’d have to run it by her.” Alalme offered. “Otherwise I’ll support it if it gets her out of the cords that are binding her. If it looks like you’ll be expected to go live with his family then I’ll say no.”
That night at dinner, Ron, Neville, and Draco were back to being boys. Ron was ecstatic, Neville relived, and Draco subdued. At least Flint and his gang of thugs were gone.
“So what’s it like being back to normal?” Millicent asked as she sat down by Draco.
“Strange, it feels strange.” Draco offered. He then stood up, and in a loud voice stated, “All right every one of you who took that sucker bet owes Princess Nova a galleon.”
“Sucker bet?” one of the boys asked.
“Anyone paying attention to the Gryffindor team practicing would have seen the snitch going straight to Louise.” Draco informed them. “She’s an animagus, a very rare one at that. The snitch simply doesn't fly away from her, and when I looked it up I found out that the Ministry is aware of the problem.”
“So why didn’t you tell us?!” demanded a boy jumping to his feet.
“Well, when it would have made a difference you’d all suddenly gone deaf to every word I’d said just because of a stupid potion mishap,” Draco announced sharply, and then sat back down.
Ron was the first person to stand to his feet, and start clapping. Neville was the second, followed by a number of girls from both houses. If there was one thing Draco had learned from the experience was that no mater what he looked like on the outside, he was still the same person on the inside. He’d also become painfully aware of how wizards treated witches.
The applause died down, and people sat down as Dumbledore banged his goblet on the table.
“Ten points to Draco Malfoy,” Snape said. She was still a woman having made several excuses as to why she wasn't going to trust the reversal potion. As stubborn as Professor Snape could be, she was just as likely planning on staying that way just to prove she could be just as formidable as a woman as a man. Then again maybe Snape just preferred being a woman.
“You’re attention please,” Dumbledore called out. “Yesterday’s Quidditch game had quite the ending.” Dumbledore had skipped going to the evening meal that night leaving many wondering what was going on, and there had been pictures in the morning papers along with scathing remarks about the ineptitude of the Ministry of Magic. “What I can tell you regarding the flying machines...” Dumbledore continued, “and the explosions. The explanation is that due to the carelessness of unnamed wizards, a certain number of acromantula were released into the forbidden forest. Those spiders had established a sizable colony and had begun to prey upon the livestock from farms and ranches surrounding the area. Preliminary surveys suggest they may have been going after people as well.” He let that sink in a moment. “And yes, the ministry was aware of the issue. Saying they are just muggles is not an excuse for inaction. - I’m to understand the muggle government went to considerable effort to keep the public from finding out about the spider predation on farms. And this was going on while we twiddled our thumbs. - What we saw was their response. - There will be some changes in the future. Least they turn their eyes toward our community, and they have demonstrated to me an ability to counter some of our best wards. Bottom line, we need to do a better job of policing ourselves if we don’t want to attract unwanted attention.” As he was saying his piece the evening papers came in. Headlines, Minister of Magic arrested along with dozens of others. The paper was calling it a political blood bath and hinted at a possible coup d’état. “And now, Professor Moon has a few words, and house points to give out.”
Dumbledore sat down, and Luna stood up. “I’d like first of all to thank everyone for making me feel welcome. Even the Slytherins.” Luna offered. “You all have no idea what a pleasure it’s been to teach you all in the short time I’ve had the pleasure to be among you.”
“Are you coming back next year?” Shouted out one of the Ravenclaw students.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to.” Luna offered. Her news was met by an audible sound of dismay and disappointment throughout the hall. “Now, as you all know, at the beginning of the term, you were all admonished not to venture into the third floor unless you wanted to die a horrible death. - Seems quite a number of you want to die a horrible death.” This remark created a burst of laughter that traveled about the room. “Ernie Macmillan of Hufflepuff seems to like dying the most and has racked up a whopping death count of seven hundred, and eighty-three deaths. - Ernie, what in harmony were you doing?”
“Um, when I died the first time and realized that all that happened was I’d been sent back to my dorm, I started using that as a short cut.” Ernie offered sheepishly. Dumbledore placed his face in his hands as he muttered to himself.
“You do realize that had the safety protocols that had been put in place had failed you’d be dead for real, don’t you?” Luna offered? The boy paled at the thought. “For the most deaths, I award you ten points. I was going to give you more for perseverance, but I’ve changed my mind.” At the news of what Ernie had been doing there’d been a lot of laughing followed by cheers and applause.
“Am I the only one who didn’t go down that trap door?” Harry lamented as name after name was called out with points being awarded. Those who made it through on the first try were awarded more points than those who had made several attempts. Dumbledore cringed every time an individual was listed at having failed the challenge. Even Draco Malfoy had completed the challenge, but at the sacrifice of Crabbe and Goyle along the way.
“Quirrel would have gone after you the moment you tried.” Draco cautioned from the Slytherin table as the twins were awarded the highest points.
“He’s got a point, you know,” Hermione added.
“The challenge is still set up, what about going tonight?” Scootaloo asked oblivious to the presence of the baby pegacorn that had just climbed onto her lap. A baby bottle appeared on the table, and Scootaloo began bottle feeding her.
“Ah… what’s Rose doing down here?” Draco asked from his table. The other Slytherin students looked on in horror.
“What are you talking about?” Scootaloo asked. Girls around her began to experience critical systems failures as wide smiles formed on their faces. [.exe has failed to execute, attempting to reboot.] Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle just started laughing, and Nova facepalmed. “What?”
“You’ve got her on your lap, and are bottle feeding her.” Nova offered as she got out a small two-way radio.
“Care to share the joke?” Luna called from the head table, wondering what was going on.
“Rose snuck down here, and Louise started bottle feeding her, and was oblivious to what she was doing.” Draco offered with a big smile. By the looks on Harry, and Ron’s faces he could tell that they hadn’t known.
“I’m on it,” Nova called with radio held to her face.
“Ten points for Gryffindor for taking such good care of Rose Myrtle.” Madam Hooch offered followed by good-natured laughing.
“Well, that’s all I have.” Luna finally announced and sat back down.
“Well then, let us begin our dinner.” Dumbledore offered, followed by food appearing on the table.
“Probably a good thing she’s not nursing, how awkward that would have been.” Madam Hooch whispered to the others at the table.
“Oh if I’d a bit for every time that happened in court,” Luna replied with a lilt to her voice. Dumbledore had a stricken look on his face.
“In court?” Professor Dumbledore asked sounding appalled.
“It’s a perfectly natural thing, but can be a bit distracting when someone is trying to argue their case before the court.” Luna offered. “Case in point, several of the girls at the Gryffindor table have yet to put anything on their plates do to cuteness overload.”
“So have you ever been the guilty party?” Professor McGonagall asked. Luna smiled a rather guilty smile.
“On occasion, I’d do it deliberately just to annoy some noble with an overgrown sense of propriety.” Luna offered. Madam Hooch and Professor McGonagall started laughing just at the thought of it.
“So what are they laughing about up there?” Scootaloo asked Nova.
“Why are you asking me?” Nova asked in reply.
“Your ears have gone all foxy, and one is zeroed in on the head table.” Apple bloom teased.
“She’s telling them about the time she nursed Estar and myself in court just to antagonize Prince Blueblood. Nova offered, her ears going flat.
“I remember hearing about that.” Scootaloo offered with a big smile.
“She’s so cute.” Lavender Brown squeaked. “I want one.”
“She’s not a pet.” Scootaloo chastised. Myrtle having understood the implications of what Lavender had said decided to transform herself. “Rose? How long has she been able to do that?”
“Since this afternoon.” Nova offered as Rose Myrtle took hold of her bottle.
At this point, several individuals began making unintelligible noises.
“She’s an animagus?” Pomona Sprout said a gasp. “How old is that child?”
“Kind of runs in the family, and she’s only a little over fifteen weeks old,” Luna informed them.
“Fifteen weeks? But how is that possible?” Dumbledore asked in amazement. “And another pegasus yet?”
“It’s part of our family tree so to speak.” Luna offered. “Anyone connected to me, my sister, or Eques, by heritage and blood will have a pony form. - Curious that young Malfoy has a pony form. From what I hear of his father I’d hate to think I was in any way related to him.”
“I think he’d have similar feelings if he knew the full truth of the matter.” Madam Hooch offered with a knowing smile.
“Even so, to be able to transform at such a young age without even having to go through the long arduous process required to do it?” Dumbledore said in dismay.
“Except for one thing. She’s not human.” Luna offered. “She’s a pegacorn. Though I will need to ask for the details concerning her transformation. - She’s also got the majority of Myrtle Elizabeth Warren’s memories. It’s all rather complicated, and I see now I should have buried her knowledge of magic a little deeper.”
“I think a full explanation is in order.” Dumbledore implored.
“Do you remember that egg you confiscated?” Luna asked. Dumbledore nodded. “Myrtle Warren was that egg. And before you say anything, we’ve taken the book that had the spell they used. - What they did was place Myrtle’s spirit inside an egg, Louise’s egg.”
“Are you saying that Louise is the mother?” Snape asked astonished.
“Oh it gets worse,” Luna offered. "Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle are the fathers. And no they did not use any kind of gender swapping spell. The deed was done using a very complicated ritual. Those three are lucky to be alive. But yes, Louise is the mother. She is after all a young pegacorn mare in her non human form.”
“It was the casting of the spell that caused Miss Magnus’s health scare.” Madam Pomfrey offered.
“You know, there are laws against raising the dead?” Snape stated.
“Oh, but they haven't raised the dead, they circumnavigated the normal process of reincarnation and renewal. From our understanding, when a being dies, from death comes a seed. The energy that makes us special, our spirit, never goes away. Sometimes that energy, or seed, will manifest as a ghost. All they did was control where that seed went.” Luna explained. “When a being dies they can chose to linger, and in some cases become vengeful spirits, or they can let the winds of fate take them where it will, and be reborn again. I'm to understand Myrtle had chosen to become a vengeful spirit, but the interaction with the girls had redeemed her - Grater is the tragedy of Tom Riddle in that he will never know this renewal. - Rose Myrtle is a brand new life who just happens to have many of the memories of her past self.”
“Are you saying there is no hell?” Dumbledore asked remembering what Nova had said.
“Hell exists, humans create hell right here on earth. Every chance they get. Or at least that’s what it seems like.” Luna offered. “The list of dangerous creatures should, by rights, list humans at the top.”
“I must confess I would find it difficult to argue against that assessment.” Dumbledore offered. “But we are also capable of great good.”
“And there in lays the paradox of humanity,” Luna replied.
Meanwhile back at the Gryffindor table Rose is back to pony form, and pressing nervously into Scootaloo as girls begin to press in to have a better look. “Alright, everyone back in your seats.” Idda Peverell chastised.
“Amazing that she can change back and forth at that age.” Alicia Spinnet remarked. “Is that common for pegacorns? I mean you can do it. She is yours isn’t she?” The students gathered round grew strangely quiet.
Scootaloo looked down at Rose, who looked up at her. “I couldn't switch back and forth until after I came to England.” Scootaloo offered. “It seems to have something to do with the type of ambient magic that pervades wizard areas. Rose being able to switch back and forth at her age is…”
“Unheard of.” Nova offered. “I guess there is a first for everything.”
The Gryffindors looked at Scootaloo, one question unanswered, assumption yet to be shot down. Scootaloo looked down at Rose.
“I really should be more careful about when I transform into my Pegacorn form. Certain times of the month.” Scootaloo offered softly. “Pegasi do lay eggs you know.” Those who had heard all had an expression of impending dread on their faces considering everything already known concerning that egg, and Scootaloo. Most of the Gryffindor girls knew that Louise could turn into a pegacorn, along with Nova who seemed to be an actual pegacorn. Even quite a few of the boys had figured it out by now. “We, um… used magic, and that made the egg viable. I got sick because of the strain the spell put on me. That and the worry.”
“Why didn’t you say something?” Katie Bell asked as tears began to gush from her eyes. Everything had come into focus. Louise had laid an egg while in her pegasus form and had tried to keep it quiet, only to have the egg confiscated.
“We were all in panic mode.” Hermione offered. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom nodded in agreement. After all, no one needed to know what spell, or the fact that it had been the spell that brought forth the egg so prematurely. Let everyone think Louise had laid an egg while in her pegacorn form and leave out any inconvenient details. Not a one would realize they’d just been told a half-truth and a white lie.
“And it sure didn’t help much thinking Hagrid had made an omelet out of her,” Scootaloo said with a bit of a hitch in her voice.
“We all knew, we all knew how devastated you were.” Lavender offered. “I don’t think any of us guessed the full reason why though. If only we’d known.”
“We’d have found some way.” Idda offered.
“Do I want to know what’s going on over here?” McGonagall asked having approached the table half the girls were crying. Even a few nearby at other tables look stricken. Luna was with her, both looking rather worried. Nova stood up and whispered Scootaloo’s new version, of how the egg came to be, in Luna’s ear, who quickly let McGonagall know. It was all Luna could do to maintain a serious expression, while McGonagall looked stricken. That egg had been Louis’ baby. Luna walked over to Scootaloo and gave her a hug. Even though she’d found the variation of the story of Rose Myrtle’s origin humerus, Scootaloo was still hurting.
“You going to be alright?” Luna asked.
“I will be if everyone else will quit crying.” Scootaloo offered.
“Alright, you heard her, suck it up,” Luna said with a smile. “What’s done is done.” Luna’s voice quieted. “She’s got her baby back, and lots of goodhearted people to support her.”
The girls all smiled and did their best.
“Now that’s better...” Luna offered just as Nova said horse apples. Luna gave her a curious look, turned in the direction Nova was looking only to see Moonflower. “Oh buck.” Moonflower’s ears were down in agitation, her legs ready to spring, her tail swishing back and forth.
“You, aaaa, didn’t happen to lose track of Moonflower too did you?” Nova asked into her little radio, her ears had flattened. “You were going to tell us when? She’s in the entry hall looking in at us.”
“Why don’t I walk her back to the infirmary, being my secret is kind of out anyway.” Scootaloo offered. “Wait, Malfoy?!”
Draco had gotten up and was slowly walking over to Moonflower.
“Draco Malfoy that’s a wild unicorn, what are you doing?!” McGonagall hissed. “No one move.”
As Draco approached Moonflower bobbed her head up and down, and shifted back and forth. Draco stopped, let out a sigh, dropped to all fours and transformed. “See, it’s me.” Coco offered.
One eyebrow lifted on Luna’s forehead. Draco’s colt form seemed rather feminine.
“Um, Scootaloo, she’s not likely to want to go back until she knows Rose is safe.” Nova offered.
Coco took a few more steps, Moonflower calmed down and met the little bat pony half way. Scootaloo, got off the bench, transformed, and walked over to join them. Rose followed suspended in the air supported by Scootaloo’s magic, and was flapping her wings, and paddling with her legs as happy as any filly could possibly be.
“You know that’s pretty ballsy.” Scootaloo offered to Draco as the three escorted Moonflower back up to the hospital wing. “Considering your pony form is still female.”
“What?” Malfoy asked as a feeling of dread came over him/her.
“Perhaps we should hurry before anyone figures it out,” Scootaloo said with a smile. She was momentarily surprised when Coco somehow managed to vanish. She was aware of her presence, Scootaloo’s magic told her that much, and her ears could hear the sound of Coco’s little hooves. Yes, twelve-year-old bat pony Malfoy was considerably smaller then Louise. Moonflower nuzzled him to make sure he was still there. “I think it’s a bat pony thing?” Scootaloo offered when the unicorn looked back at her.
“What, come on hurry up, I don’t want anyone getting a good look at me.” Coco offered.
“You’ve made yourself invisible somehow?” Scootaloo offered.
“I have? Good.”
Nova’s quiet chortling over head gave evidence to a little celestial fox silently drifting overhead. Moonflower looked up at her with suspicion, but decided she was alright.
“You weren’t planning on teleporting us were you?” Scootaloo asked. As she set Myrtle down.
“Not if I don’t have to.” Nova offered as Myrtle bumped into Coco. “I think it might be a bit much for Moonflower so only as a last resort.” At this point, Nova decided to land on Coco’s back so everyone would know where she was. Whatever the spell was the Thestrals used, it had no effect on her other then she could tell they were using some kind of natural ability similar to a look the other way spell.
“You’re heavy, you know.” Coco protested.
“What, I’m just a little fox right now.”
“And I’m not much bigger then Rose.” Coco protested. Nova laughed, and lifted up into the air again. Coco was at least Twice the size of Rose. Which isn't saying much.
Getting Moonflower back up the stairs to the hospital wing proved harder then it needed to be owing to her dislike of the moving stairs. In this, Rose Myrtle led the way on multiple occasions as she triumphantly trotted ahead of everyone. Myrtle knew her way around this place. She even knew secret passages no one else knew of. They were also quite fortunate as to not come across anyone along the way save for Ensign Loki who met them on the way up in his fox form.
Captain Hoofstrong was repentant in that he’d been lax in his duties, as was the remainder of the squad. With the primary threat gone, they’d relaxed. Alalme had been distracted as well as she’d been engaged in her self paced studies, and it had been Istel and Talma who’d been the first to raise the alarm after the foals had let it slip that Rose had snuck out on her own. A quick check found that Moonflower was also missing, along with the door into the hospital wing being left open.
“Fortunately we got them back with no harm done.” Nova offered having transformed back to her pony form on arrival. Shortly after both Rose, and Moonflower were sent to their perspective rooms for a time out.
“I think everyone in Gryffindor, maybe half the school by now, know I can transform back and forth.” Scootaloo offered. “I gave a story they could believe regarding where Rose came from. Though the idea of a human laying an egg while in their animagus form might be a bit hard to swallow, it beats telling anyone her real origin. - They’ll know Draco can transform now too.”
“Well come on, maybe there’ll be some food left when we get back downstairs.” Nova offered. “Coco, I think it’s safe for you to turn back into a human.”
“You know, I think this is getting easier every time I do this.” Malfoy offered as they changed back into a human. “What? Why are you all looking at me like that?”
“Um what say you do it one more time, and this time aim for your male self.” Nova offered and transformed to her human self.
“Why… why is my voice…? - Why am I back to being a girl?!” Malfoy asked dismayed.
“Your transformation was premature so I showed you a kitsune spell.” Nova offered. “Go back to your pony form, and shoot for your male persona. Normally this shouldn't be a problem. - I’ll have to ask Lady Aiko if she has any ideas? I wonder if it's because your thestral form is also considered a flying fox?”
“This is going to be a huge problem if I can’t switch back.” Malfoy offered, dropping back down to pony form. Malfoy took in a breath, let it out slowly, took a moment, and then stood back up. This time he was back to being a boy. Just to be sure he decided to check himself. “Yep, I’m back.” The girls all had to laugh.
“I’m learning the transformation spell too.” Alalme offered. “Pretty much every pony coming over from Eques can do it.”
“Do you think you’ve got it now, maybe you can give it a shot?” Nova asked.
“Hang on, let me see, I think I’m ready to give it a go...” Alalme reared up on her hind legs, and a moment later she was replaced by a beautiful young woman with dark brown skin, and long black hair cascading down her back. “I did it! First time!”
“Congratulations!” Scootaloo offered. “Took me a bit to figure that trick out, and our spell isn’t near as convoluted as the one the wizards use.”
Nova also congratulated her and gave her a hug. Malfoy made a strange choking noise.
“Wow, my udders sure got big,” Alalme commented as she fiddled with them. Post pregnancy boobs. Malfoy’s nose hemorrhaged, and he passed out.
“Do you think maybe that’s why humans wear clothes all the time?” Scootaloo asked looking down at Draco. It being Alalme’s first transformation she was presently attired in what she’d been wearing prior to the transformation, which was nothing.
“Well, he’s got a long way to go if he wants to be part of our herd.” Alalme offered.
“He’s come a long way over the past year, give him time.” Nova offered. “Humans can take a little longer to mature from what you are accustomed to.”
“Part of our herd?!” Scootaloo protested. “When exactly were you going to tell me?”
“There just hasn’t been a good time, and he seems to prefer being a girl, filly, despite the drawbacks, and how she was being treated.” Nova offered. “And the only way we could think of to get Coco out of her present situation with her family is to adopt Draco into the family as part of a marriage agreement. And that’s if his family will even go for it. It wouldn't even have to be permanent, just till he’s an adult.”
Scootaloo transformed back into her human form, just so she could face palm without hurting herself. “Just so we are clear on this, I’m not too crazy about the idea. At the very least we should hold off for a year or two, and see how Apple Bloom and Sweetie feel about it. Who’s Idea was this?”
“Myrtle.” Nova offered.
“And Myrtle doesn’t know what a jerk he’s been. Plus she’s just a filly, and Luna removed all her bad memories.”
“Which would mean she only remembers the good stuff about him.” Nova offered. “And the deal was contingent on Coco being stuck as a girl.”
“In that case, if Malfoy wants to be part of the herd, he and or she is going to have to demonstrate they are worth our love. There is just too much water under that bridge.”
“So, shouldn't we do something about him?” Alalme asked sounding concerned.
“Maybe you should go back to being a pony first?” Nova offered.
“That or put some clothes on.” Scootaloo mused. “Though your human form is pretty hot.”
“You, um think so? - Nova…?” Alalme asked giving Nova a smile.
“Maybe it’s the lack of fur...” Nova offered as she blushed. “But, ya, you are beautiful. Both your forms are beautiful. - Hey, if we can scrounge up some clothes for you, you can come down to dinner tomorrow.”
“And we will miss tonight’s dinner if we don’t get back.” Scootaloo pointed out.
Scootaloo and Nova arrived downstairs a short time later with Draco propped between them. They’d managed to wake him up, but his legs were like jelly, and he’d a big smile on his face.
“It doesn't effect you like this when we are ponies?” Nova asked.
“We got fur then. Fur, and feathers.” Draco offered.
“Draco, what happened to you?” Millicent asked seeing blood on his shirt.
“He got kicked in the head for his efforts.” Scootaloo offered with a smile as Madam Pomfrey and Snape rushed over.
“I’m alright, it was just a nose bleed.” Draco prompted.
Luna came over to find out what had happened, and Nova quickly whispered into her ear what had really happened. Luna smiled, turned, and whispered to Madam Pomfrey, who in turn quietly informed Snape that Draco had walked in on a girl with her clothes off.
“I’m surprised it wasn’t fatal.” Snape offered in a drawl that would have been standard for her old self. For those who knew the scoop, it was all they could do to keep a straight face.
“So what really happened?” Ron asked in a whisper as the girls sat down.
Scootaloo leaned into the table, and in a conspiratorial wispier replied that it had to do with a mature woman and full frontal nudity.
“Anyone, we know?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Alalme Silverwood.” Nova offered with a sheepish grin.
“I thought Alalme was a pegasus?” Hermione asked, sounding just a little confused.
“She is.” Sweetie Belle offered as she gave Nova and Scootaloo a puzzled look.
“She figured out Rose Myrtle’s trick.” Scootaloo offered. “Transformed her self right in front of Draco, and then she was like, why are my udders so big, starts playing with them, and Draco fainted.”
The other’s looked at them with an incredulous look on their faces as Nova, and Scootaloo loaded up on food.
“Alalme?” Apple Bloom asked. She knew Alalme had been studying magic, but then none of the other English pegasi had shown any aptitude for such things.
“I think they are pulling our leg.” Harry offered.
“One never knows with these fillies.” Alicia Spinnet offered in a hushed tone as she looked over the desserts. After all, Scootaloo was an animagus who could turn into a pegacorn. Assuming it wasn’t the other way around, and it was highly probable that Nova was a pegacorn herself. Add to that the unicorn yearling and brightly colored Shetland pony was likely Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. “If you had told me that Scootaloo laid an egg while in her animagus form resulting in a pegacorn who could turn herself into a toddler this morning, I’d have said you’d gone daft.”
Her statement had caused quite a few to lean back in their chairs in wonderment. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle wouldn’t find out for sure till the next morning in that by the time they got upstairs, Alalme had bed down with Alya, Goldwine, and Rose.